Part of the many requirements you need to accomplish for Express Entry immigration to Canada is completing the International English Language Test (IELTS). This is a requirement assigned by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for tradespeople in varying classifications to gain an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency (PR) in Canada. Because of this, it’s necessary for aspiring Canadian citizens to understand how it works and its effect on their application process.
Understanding the ins and outs of IELTS and Canadian immigration
The test will provide immigration officers a proper assessment of whether a candidate is proficient in reading, listening, writing, and speaking the English language. Accomplishing the test itself isn’t the most complicated aspect of its requirement for immigration. In reality, there are other aspects candidates need to understand about its effect on immigrants.
In our earlier article about what to expect with the IELTS, we addressed the basic requirements and offered a few tips for IELTS test-takers. In this article, we will be answering some frequently asked questions about this test and how it affects your immigration status.
1. How long does the IELTS exam take?
The IELTS test will take around 2 hours and 35 minutes, covering 4 language modules: speaking, writing, reading, and listening. At the exam location, you’ll need to present a valid passport and two recent passport-sized photographs.
2. What’s a good IELTS score I should aim for?
The threshold for your overall Express Entry CRS will vary, depending on your classification as a tradesperson. This means your IELTS’ Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) has specific benchmarks higher or lower than others. It’s best to get a CLB level of 9 or above, which means you should have an average mark of 7 for reading, writing, and speaking. Additionally, a CLB 9 score can give you additional points that factor into your overall CRS, based on other skill transferability factors.
3. What should I expect when taking the IELTS exam?
Here is a crash description of what to expect during your exam:
- You are only permitted to have a pen, pencil, eraser, and ID card on your desk.
- During the listening module, remember that you can ask your invigilator to repeat themselves if you had difficulty hearing the first time.
- The writing module is strict about your response’s work length, so make sure you budget your time wisely and meet the word count requirements.
- The speaking section requires you to be as clear as possible. If your exam invigilator does not understand what you are saying, you will not receive a satisfactory score.
- The results of the test will be available for viewing after 13 days.
- Exam centres generally send copies of your Test Report Form without any additional fees.
4. Is the IELTS General exam mandatory for all immigrants?
Contrary to popular belief, taking the IELTS isn’t mandatory for all immigration programs. It’s only a part of the admissions process that involves economic immigration. Other programs, like Family Class programs, do not have to submit a language test as part of their required paperwork.
5. Do international students have to take the IELTS Academic exam?
Most international students have to submit proof of their English language ability for residency programs and higher-level education in a Canadian college or university. They may also request a Canadian study permit to supplement this. Because of these two scenarios, the IELTS Academic exam may be an optional requirement. However, this depends on the academic institution and the student’s educational background.
Researching all there is to know about your chosen Canadian immigration program will prepare you to get a better score against other applicants. It’s advantageous to consult with a Canadian immigration agency to have any clarifications confirmed before you take the test.
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